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Polish PM says EU putting ‘gun to our head’

By Guardian Nigeria
25 October 2021   |   9:30 am
Poland's prime minister accused the EU of putting a "gun to our head" by demanding his country reverse judicial reforms while threatening sanctions, in an interview published in the Financial Times Monday.

Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki speaks during a press conference at the end of the second day of a European Union leaders meeting in Brussels, on October 22, 2021. (Photo by JOHN THYS / AFP)

Poland’s prime minister accused the EU of putting a “gun to our head” by demanding his country reverse judicial reforms while threatening sanctions, in an interview published in the Financial Times Monday.

Poland is involved in a bitter confrontation with the European Union over a series of controversial judicial reforms.

Brussels believes the reforms hamper democratic freedoms but Poland says they are needed to root out corruption among judges.

In an FT interview Monday, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki urged the EU to reverse its decision to ask the European Court of Justice to fine Poland over the reforms.

“This would be the wisest thing they can do. Because then we are not talking to each other with a gun to our head.”

Asked if Poland might veto EU decisions in retaliation, he said: “What is going to happen if the European Commission will start the third world war? If they start the third world war, we are going to defend our rights with any weapons which are at our disposal.”

Poland’s Constitutional Court earlier this month ruled that parts of EU law were incompatible with the Polish constitution.

The ruling raised concerns that Poland could leave the bloc.

The dispute soured a summit of European Union leaders in Brussels last week at which Morawiecki said Poland was “ready for dialogue” but would not “act under the pressure of blackmail”.

Several EU leaders at the summit said Brussels should not release 36 billion euros ($42 billion) in pandemic recovery money that Poland badly wants while the issue is unresolved.

The dispute has focused on a new disciplinary chamber for judges that the European Court of Justice has found to be illegal.

Poland has promised to close it down but has not yet done so.

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